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John Maeda

President, Rhode Island School of Design

John Maeda is a leader who imagines how design can simplify technology and help leaders respond to new challenges in the era of social media. His work as a graphic designer, computer scientist, artist, and educator earned him the distinction of being named one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire.

In June 2008, John became president of the Rhode Island School of Design, and in late 2012, Business Insider named RISD the No. 1 design school in the world. At RISD, John is leading the movement to transform STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into STEAM by adding Art. Called the “Steve Jobs of academia” by Forbes, he believes art and design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century as science and technology did in the last century. John previously served as associate director of research at the MIT Media Lab.

He serves on the boards of Sonos, Quirky, and Wieden+Kennedy, and on the Davos World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership. His books include “The Laws of Simplicity,” “Creative Code,” and “Redesigning Leadership.” His Twitter feed was named one of TIME Magazine’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2012. John received the AIGA Medal in 2010 and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.